I Don’t Want to be a Pirate!

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…and I don’t want to walk a marathon, either.

So, I went to my appointment at the brand new EDS Clinic last week. I managed to survive. It took me a while to not only recover physically from the appointment, but to process the appointment itself.

Overall, the appointment was a success, I think. I went into the appointment with a fairly open mind, free from expectations, just hoping for some benefit.

Now, it seems the purpose of this clinic is to gather specialists who have an interest in seeing patients who have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. They currently have a gastroenterologist, a psychiatrist or psychologist I can’t remember which, and are working on the physiotherapist.

They reviewed my case, and then did a physical examination. First there was one doctor, then another came to see me and did her review. This took over two hours. Nothing special, except they detected arthritis in my left knee, which would explain why it hurts so much, and probably why the pain wakes me up at night. This is fairly new.

Now, really, aside from pills, the only treatment for EDS is physiotherapy. We all know this. So it was no surprise this was the hard sell I was given. They told me I was severely deconditioned. I cannot argue with that at all. But it was presented as: the doctor would say it normally. Then he would say it slowly, providing a long explanation. Then he would reiterate it quickly. He tested me for POTS, but kept me standing up, in pain, as the machine kept erroring. Then, he made a note for my doctor to monitor my blood pressure because it was borderline. I was so annoyed. This was toward the end of the appointment, I was in so much pain, the room was spinning, and nobody was nearby to catch me. Gee, blood pressure high? 🙄

One thing I consistently find frustrating is when doctors hear I spend my day in bed, they shut down right there, end of story. I am a complete invalid, sickie. They do not listen to why I choose a bed over the sofa. Firstly, all of my stuff is handy in my room. Secondly, I can stretch out and work out whatever kinks I get when I have space. Essentially, every morning, I fold up the blankets so I have room to work. There is a reason my nickname is Hamster Girl!

Another issue, he seemed not able to grasp the concept my pain clinic was not fully looking after my needs. As of this point, I have only had one Botox Migraine treatment since June 2017, and no Botox in my body at all since June. Although controversial, the body injections helped me a lot, and I am hurting! (Side note: the pain clinic has sent out a note saying they will no longer be doing injections. I also remembered, in my last convo with my pain doc, he said he wanted to switch my pain pills as he felt they weren’t working, I agreed.) Anyway, as we were about to leave, I blurted out we needed a referral to a pain clinic. Any Pain Clinic! He obliged. (Oh! I didn’t receive the note yet, but was told about it because the old pain clinic manager called me, as they had a cancellation with the old pain clinic’s new neurologist for next week. I mentioned this to the EDS Clinic doctor with some of the symptoms and he was very concerned about my head situation.)

Another weird thing was, he asked me if I exercise, and I said I do stretches, which he said do not count. He only counts timed exercise. Well, I hate timed exercise. I told him I used to be very active, walking everywhere, and that doesn’t count either. He suggested I go for a brisk walk. I nearly made another suggestion, but we had moved on.

I always love it when I am told things that hurt ‘shouldn’t’. Like my Symphasis Pubis. I began laughing. He told me it especially shouldn’t hurt because my daughter is nearly 16. Great. I will tell it. WTF?

All in all, it was a valuable appointment. I completely agree that I am deconditioned and physio with someone competent would be amazing. I had a really good guy for a bit, but I was in too much pain to continue, and three times a week – I was too weak to even do that. I think this is even more gentle, more home-based. I’m slightly nervous, because the time before the good one, the physio was all “join a gym! Join a gym!” Not good.

I didn’t like that they were trying to goal-set for me. One doctor wants me to start pool walking by the summer, and the other doctor was “I want to see you run a marathon in five years! Ok walk.” I have no desire to do either of those things. Oh, and the male doc kept saying “you’re still a young woman!” Uh, more than 3 and my bullshit detector goes off. 😆

They were both really pressuring me to start physio now! Now! Now! I do understand momentum is important. But I am not certain they are understanding how messy my pain management situation is. Yes, it’s fear, too! I barely sleep because of pain. I am just hanging on managing my pain. It’s very complicated. I spent this weekend mostly horizontal, trying to stay home from the emergency room. That’s how much that appointment took out of me.

I can completely see they are right. I need their help. But I am scared to add on more without more pain support.

I have scored a gastroenterologist, a therapist, a physiotherapist, and pain management. Not to mention neurology. Here’s hoping that appointment answers some questions.

Thank you to everyone for all your love and support.

 

Just Breathe

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Oh, well, things are back to normal. Life is back to kick me in the ass and remind me I am sub-human, in case I had forgotten. One of the latest games is to obnoxiously correct my grammar as I am trying to form a sentence. I’m just pleased if I can communicate an idea, never mind if I remembered it was try to instead of try and. Maybe people are thrilled they can bulldoze me for the first time. Worse,  however, is I can still hear that horrified ‘oh my God’ when referred to my size in the conversation of last week. I mean, I’m 5’8″. When I carry extra weight, I look huge.

So, I’m finding being judged at every turn very tiring. Everyone has something to say. There are actually people in this world who believe you draw to you everything that happens. Therefore, if I am suffering pain, I must be a bad person. Genetic? Bad in a past life. I’m fat? Then using a wheelchair because I’m lazy, no other reason. Now that I’m close to average size, I’m treated so much better by doctors and strangers. My friends are gone, though. That often with weight loss, I’ve heard.

I’ve been suffering a lot of knee pain. It keeps me awake at night. It’s awful. I hope it goes away. I have been bracing like crazy at night. My shoulders are really bothering me. I’m not certain how I could brace them, but I’m resting and keeping warm.

So many doctors have turned me down! I can’t get a specialist! They keep saying to wait until the EDS Clinic sees me. I’m so glad we are 5 weeks away. My clinic is no longer doing Botox. Great. Just found out. My head isn’t too bad, knock wood! I think many are not comfortable without the specialist support. So we wait and take things easy.

My days have nice flow. Wake at 6. Breakfast, coffee, Instagram. See kids off to school. Deal with emergencies. Play with makeup.  Lunch. Crafts for an hour. Nap. Tidy, hang out, organize. Time with husband, night meds and snack. Sleep, painsomnia, sleep.

God, my face hurts. 😣

Good News! I’m alive!

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Well, I suppose that depends on your perspective, but I’m happy I’m starting to feel human again. 🤣 I believe sleeping so much yesterday helped a lot. Usually sleeping so much doesn’t do much to tackle the exhaustion. Things are different when we are dealing with the flu.

It’s funny to me it takes so long to figure out when I have a flu bug or something. I get to feeling worse and worse, and my brain gets less able to figure out what is going on. Being nauseated and tired all the time is nothing new. Dizziness is standard. Flare-up happen. Headaches are constant. At least now I feel like I have one flu instead of two. And why do I get sores on my tongue every time I get sick now? Do not like. (When my daughter was a baby she used to say “Do not like it -push” 😂 she’s so funny).

Two weeks to neurologist appointment. I’m hanging in there. I’m hanging a lot on this. I know this is very dangerous, but it’s all I’ve got.

I am going to shop for some supplies. I am going to look for some aromatherapy supplies. I still have horrific menstrual cramps. Year’s ago a combination of bergamot and ylang ylang in oil massaged on my abdomen used to help. If you try this, it is not safe for pregnant women, because it can cause uterine cramping. I want to find some support pillows, and something to help me apply lotion when my husband and chief lotion-spreader isnt around.  Or is sleeping. 😊

I have new boxes to get organized, so I’m going to do just a tiny bit of that while I have the spoons and need to lie down again. Ten minutes?  I love making my nest cozy. Then I’m going to watch episode 2 of AHS:Cult. I’m so afraid of clowns! 🤡 Even before it was trendy! Maybe this week I can catch up on OITNB and Kimmy Schmidt, too. I’m even thinking of picking up a book. I feel centred enough to try.

I hope you’re doing well!

💜

PS, I felt like a real Zebra the other day! I was doing something where I put my arms out or something, and my son freaked out and asked if I was turning my arm upside down because it looked freaky. My arms are pretty normal, as Zebra arms go, but it made me laugh. 😄

Gurgle

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I slept until 3:00 this afternoon.  I woke to my husband stumbling into the bedroom declaring he just had a nap! This may be the first nap he has ever taken as an adult.

On Friday I was waiting for Pat McGrath’s lipstick collection to drop at noon, and at 11:45, I started vomiting. I managed to buy some lipstick, but then took a nap. Saturday, I was just as gross, and I finally figured out I may have the flu. Considering my daughter has it, and likely my husband does, and my son has been feeling awful… I just may be a genius. There’s been a nasty flu going around here, and my daughter has been having trouble since before school started. She’s either had it twice, or had an extended remix.

My mom was so sweet, she sent me some money on Friday to buy a treat to cheer myself up. From both her and dad. So sweet.

It was tough, but I had to put my Beauty Blog on hiatus until October 5th. I just don’t have the spoons to keep up with it right now. I’m so sad, because it’s one of my favourite things. I’m hoping the neurologist has a theory and I’m feeling better. I would like some answers and a plan.

When I can’t even do the small things, it’s a problem.

I need joy. To be able to supply joy. And I’m not even talking about sex. I’m so many layers below sex, you can’t even imagine. I have about ten layers to go before I even can think about sex.

On this level is bathing, reading, amusing myself, sitting up, and taking my medications. Not just staring into space.

Sigh.

💜

I’m a 10 out of 10

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You know you’re gearing up for a migraine when you lecture a stranger in your dream for wearing too much perfume. I even gave her the speech on the proper distance you should be from someone before you first detect it. I was quite thorough. The proper distance, by the way, is conversational distance. That is where you should first detect someone else’s fragrance.  None of this where they walk into the establishment and you can taste it before you even see the person nonsense.

Anyway, I tried to play with makeup yesterday, but the migraine started creeping up. I continued, because it had been over a week! I played for a bit, then finally had a nap. Slept from 1 pm until 8:30 pm when my husband came to bed. I was so restless and uncomfortable.  I couldn’t settle my stomach. I didn’t have anything solid yesterday except for oatmeal for breakfast.

I couldn’t sleep last night, I was just awake, restless. I keep trying. I’d dissolve into tears every once in a while, the pain was so bad, and then it would dissipate. Then ramp up. Ugh. I would lie there, just trying to be still, trying to distract myself. Reading cat memes. Reading long form news stories.

I was supposed to have Botox injections for migraine and for pain management on August 22-ish.  Since then the migraines are back, I’ve had my first period in fourteen years, (Mirena) and I’m wracked with pain.

I have not heard back from the pain clinic. Realistically, it’s been 3 weeks? I think? It feels like an eternity. I feel like most of the pain right now is in the back of my head, whatever we are dealing with there. One month until my neurologist appointment.

It’s also been close enough to a month that I believe it is time to start harassing the EDS clinic again. I think we shall do those things, see where that leads us.

I’m interested to see if I have a period next month. The question: was the Botox contributing to my lack of menses? How? Dunno. Correlation does not equal causation yeah yeah. We will see.

Let’s tackle one thing at a time. I will certainly bring it up at the EDS clinic, I don’t know if they have a GYN on staff, but I will ask for a referral straight away, as well as for a gastroenterologist, as that doesn’t seem to be happening either.

Happily, however, my stomach seems to have settled and I no longer feel like throwing up my toenails. Yay Gravol!

Short term, I don’t seem to be sleepy. Or I am already dead. I occasionally find a comfy spot and all is happy for a while, so things aren’t terrible. I’m going to focus on medicating myself today, listening to podcasts, and maybe tv if I can. Tonight I’m definitely taking a sleeping pill, and back to that if I need to.

I was thinking of a warm bath, but moving…

I can do a month! Right?

And however long the EDS clinic takes…

💜

 

 

Rough Night.

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I have been having horrible abdominal cramps the past couple of weeks. I was diagnosed with Endometriosis in 1989. It was originally thought to be the source of my pain. I have been fine since I had my kids, mostly due to the Mirena. I’m on number 3, and am on year 2 I believe, so nothing should be wrong. I haven’t had any spotting. In fact, it had been working miraculously in helping me with cramps.

Over the past week, I’ve had discharge as if I was ovulating, (that’s one thing about chronic illness, being really in tune with your body. I knew exactly when I was ovulating, which made pregnancy a snap). The cramps were slightly menstrual-like, but more sustained ovulation-like. Mittelsmertz, if you will. Yesterday I was so distracted I even forgot my medication all day!

I went to bed early, I was generally uncomfortable. My head is hurting at the back. Around midnight I woke up screaming with intense abdominal cramping. Did I have a cyst burst? It was just on the right side. The pain lasted almost 20 minutes with me just babble scream-moaning for that time. It eventually subsided, but I’m aching intensely this morning. It could be that I caught my ovary or twisted it a bit. Or a bit of adhesions ripping. It could be anything. Well, not anything. I don’t think it’s actually a hedgehog on a rampage. It just feels like it.

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This was under the gifs for Endometriosis.  I thought it completely appropriate.

I had a horrible time trying to sleep last night. I just couldn’t. I took extra meds, but it didn’t help. I read some junk on my tablet.

I have my makeup in stacked bins beside my bed. At 10:51 pm. The past two nights, a whole row has fallen over. 😮 spooky! I know my family has been in rough shape because we’ve all been in bed before 9:30 both nights.

I’m curled up in a ball, trying to amuse myself. I’m focusing on taking my meds, having some fun, and taking things a bit easy. I don’t know quite how this will play out. My gynecologist is part of the pain clinic, for the endo part anyway. I don’t have one for other stuff.

The BOTOX shots help a ton with any cramping or discomfort. I had forgotten how much pain this can cause.

My husband might just swaddle me and leave me at the emergency room. 🤣 Like he was giving up a newborn. What should the note say? Tag you’re It? She’s your problem now?  😈

My husband had no idea what to do, so he did nothing. I’m not exactly thrilled. We should probably have a discussion.

Another issue with my doctor being absent is he made a lovely compound for me, well, ordered, and I’m now gingerly using it. I don’t know if I can get it again. It has gabapentin and ketamine in it, it’s a lotion, and it’s unbelievable. It fixed my abdomen earlier. I don’t have another doctor for this.

It was upsetting when I mentioned my doctor situation on Facebook, people started speculating he was ‘up on charges’ that is such dangerous speculation. I took the post down. I wasn’t strong enough at the time. I’m still worried about his health.

Anyway, I need to rest. More soon.

Oh! I’m down to 188. This was the 20 lbs I was keeping for emergencies, remember? Heh. Oh well. Eating is hard. Nausea is pervasive. Heartburn is so often. Even though I’m on the max dose of medicine for it. I just rechecked the BMI charts, and I need to lose 15 more lbs and I’m normal weight. That blows my mind. I was certain I’d never lose this weight. I suppose I like being slim. I’m not so certain I like the attention from men. Wait. I like the respectful attention. I don’t like the disrespectful attention.

Ok, bit of rest now. 😊.

Progress!

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Finally, some good news! After another hellish treatment with Botox, (actually it’s not the needles that hurt, it’s feeling around for the trigger points to inject, because even gentle pressure on areas of my body really hurts). And I need to tell you the story of my day, still, because it was funny, but I’m still worn out.

My doctor gave me a cream for my head pain and said I can actually use it anywhere. It’s a bizarre mixture of ketamine, gabapentin, and other stuff. So far it’s helping to a certain degree. It may take time, though. I tried it first on Wednesday, and was immediately sick. But then the pain subsided slowly.

I tried it on my stomach last night and this morning. This morning, I was immediately ill. I may need to ramp up even slower. I don’t know quite how, except one part at a time. You only use a half a pea size amount per small area. My entire abdomen takes 1.5 pea sized amounts.

So, I guess this stuff is pretty strong? Or I’m just sick by coincidence, which is possible, because I hurt to be touched and my husband was rubbing some of the sorest spots on my body. Gently, but, sore nonetheless.

Just a bit about my doctor appointment from Tuesday: after we did the treatment, we had a chance to talk, and my doctor is concerned about my head and neck pain. He is sending me to a neurologist, even though he is one himself, he doesn’t have time to deal with this, his hands are full. The neurologist will consider a nerve block, likely, but will investigate the source of the pain.

My husband asked him what we should do in future with pain like this, and he shrugged without shrugging. It very much depends on my health, the danger, circumstances, everything, really. Am I in pain? What do I need? What am I looking for? So I asked if I should have gone for my head. He told me he won’t know until they find out what’s wrong. There ya go.

Last bit of gossip is we discussed my gastroenterology problem. I am now down close to 120 lbs. There is no way at nearly 47 years old I should be bedridden and losing two lbs a week. It makes no sense, metabolically. At about 193 lbs now, I’m only 25 lbs overweight. That blows my mind. I’m glad I’m getting something out of this. Um. I hope it stops somewhere. Anyway, my doctor agreed, and said this should be another priority. I then looked at him and said, this isn’t making sense. This doesn’t sound like just EDS. Something else is going on here. He was silent. He went back to writing scripts. He then said, I think you’re right. I haven’t seen anything like this, it’s progressing too fast to be just EDS.

Sleeping is easier.

Have a stellar day, Zebras! 😘